Dimond Goes Green

Dimond has been identified as one of 27 Anchorage School District schools that have above-average energy usage and is going to be included in a energy conservation this school year. While this may seem like Dimond is slacking in the energy saving department, it may just be because of the size of the school. “Energy usage for a building or school, such as Dimond, cannot be compared directly to other buildings or schools,” says Jon Paxton, who is a part of the program. Dimond is a large high school and last year was a cold winter, but there are still many things we can do to increase our energy efficiency as a school. Representatives from the energy program have been going around to the 27 schools singled out in the program and briefing the schools on things they can do to be greener. Among Paxton’s list of no cost ideas are: Turning the lights off when leaving the room Turning down the thermostat at night Unplugging electronics when leaving the building A few of Paxton’s low cost ideas are: Replacing incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs Repair leaking ductwork Install double-pane, energy-efficient windows These are a few of the things that the program has outlined for the schools to do. “Energy usage for each school is divided by the square footage of the school to obtain usage per square foot,” Paxton said. This number was computed for all schools in the district, and then averaged. The schools identified as above average were specifically included in the program, though all schools are encouraged to take part in saving energy . Paxton came to a faculty meeting at Dimond and gave the teachers and other staff members handouts on how to increase efficiency. Dimond Principal Cheryl Guyett said she is going to increase energy efficiency by asking Dimond to close the blinds, turn technology off and increase recycling. The energy conservation program isn’t the only thing that’s raising awareness about going green this year. In the library, available for checkout to teachers and students, are energy monitor kits used measure how much energy a certain electronic device uses. Garrison Wilts, a student at South High School , designed the kits and donated them to libraries around the community, including Loussac and many school libraries . The primary purpose is to realize that even when electronics are off, they still use energy. These electronic devices are known as vampires, because they suck electricity while they should be sleeping. The energy conservation program is a no-budget program, but the motive is to “raise the level of awareness and consciousness of staff,” says Paxton. “And being more aware of energy waste will develop better habits in order to save energy.”